PENSIONS BOARD LAUNCHES 2005 ANNUAL REPORT
Friday 14 July 2006: The Pensions Board today launched its 2005 Annual Report, in the Government Press Centre, and presented a copy of the Report to the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Séamus Brennan TD, which is available on www.pensionsboard.ie.
Speaking at the launch Tiarnan O Mahoney, Chairperson of the Board said: “2005 was a very active year on the policy advisory side. In particular the Board carried out the National Pensions Review at the request of the Minister for Social and Family Affairs. This report was presented to the Minister in November 2005”.
“We have also completed a major report requested by the Minister this year on the most appropriate mandatory or quasi-mandatory pension system for Ireland which we delivered to him last week. We hope that this report and the National Pensions Review Report will form the basis for the Government’s Green Paper on pensions policy as agreed at the recent Social Partnership Partnership talks” said Mr O Mahoney.
Discussing the issue of compliance, Anne Maher, Chief Executive of the Pensions Board said: “The Board is always conscious that its regulatory role is its primary one. The results of the Board’s compliance monitoring in 2005 indicated improvement in overall compliance and governance of pension schemes. However, the Board remains concerned that the standard of pension administration is varied both within practitioners and between practitioners. This is an area where we plan to increase our focus. We are currently reviewing our method of pension supervision to increase its effectiveness. Our proposed approach going forward will be more proactive and risk-based. However, we remain very conscious of the need to get a sound balance between member security and cost and any new changes which we introduce will take this into account.”
For further information:
Head of Information & Training
The Pensions Board Tel (01) 613 1900
Assistant Head of Information & Training
The Pensions Board Tel (01) 613 1900
Q4 Public Relations Tel (01) 475 1444/ 087- 2371838
Highlights of 2005
- 734,699 members in occupational pension schemes on the Board’s register, an increase of 1% on the previous year.
- Of the 564 actuarial funding certificates submitted to the Board during 2005, 57% of defined benefit schemes satisfied the funding standard. At end 2005, the number of active schemes which failed to meet the funding standard was reduced to 32% of the total.
- Reduction in number of Defined Benefit Schemes with deficits requesting extensions of the period to return to meet the Funding Standard – 47 applications in 2005 compared to 135 in 2004.
- At the end of 2005 68% of active DB Schemes satisfied the funding standard which is an improvement over 2004.
- The total number of PRSA contracts at end 2005 was 68,257. The total value of assets amounted to €451.7m., almost 2.5 times the 2004 value of PRSA assets.
- A questionnaire was issued during the year to 28,000 registered employers as part of the process of monitoring employer mandatory access.
- The Board successfully prosecuted 10 cases – 6 cases against trustees of occupational pension schemes and 4 cases against the relevant employers for failure to comply with PRSA obligations. These were the first PRSA prosecutions.
- Ireland was one of the first countries to introduce into domestic law the EU Directive 2003/41/EC on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs Directive).
- The Board continued to monitor its customer service provision. In particular, the Board’s website was upgraded to be more accessible and customer focused. 216,052 visits were made to the website. 11,789 enquiries by post, email and telephone were dealt with during the year.
- Under the National Pensions Awareness Campaign, the pensions education strategy was commenced which resulted in new partnerships with recruitment firms, FÁS and Fáilte Ireland amongst others.
- Our most recent survey show pensions awareness is now at 86% which is very high.
About the Pensions Board
The Pensions Board is the statutory body set up to regulate occupational pension schemes and PRSAs and to advise the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, and through him, the Government, on overall pension policy development.
The National Pensions Review
The National Pensions Review was submitted to the Minister for Social and Family Affairs. This report provided a strategic assessment of the Irish pensions system and included a number of recommendations for specific enhancements to the system. The Board’s report on the Review is published online at www.pensionsboard.ie